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Giuseppe Petacchi, RIP


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#1 Major Tallon

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 11:52 AM

I was in Nassau last week with Orlandobond, a fine group of CBN friends, and others, supported by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Bahamas Film Commission.  I didn't have time to access in the internet and, lamentably, didn't get formally to mark Ian Fleming's birthday (or even yet download the collection of Jim's marvelous 007th Chapter essays). 

 

Even though I was unable to mark the birth of the man who was our founder, I'll take a moment to recall the passing, on the night of 2-3 June 1959, of Giuseppe Petacchi, foully murdered on the wing of the Vindicator bomber he'd hijacked on behalf of SPECTRE.  Too opportunistic and unreliable to be a trustworthy plotter, he paid the ultimate price.

 

For those who've never read the works of Ian Fleming, or who've never picked up a copy of Thunderball, I'll suggest that this would be a good time to start and not a bad book to begin with.  It was my first Bond book, and look what happened.



#2 larrythefatcat

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 04:29 PM

I heard something similar happened to Fran├žois Derval a few years later... tragic.

 

Also: is he of any relation to Jack Petachi? What a coincidence!


Edited by larrythefatcat, 03 June 2015 - 04:30 PM.


#3 Guy Haines

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 11:15 PM

I always wondered about the "Villiers Vindicator". Close enough in its name to the first of the RAF "V" bombers, the Vickers Valiant, so when I read the book Thunderball, that was the 'plane I pictured in my mind. Plus, the Valiant was the first RAF aircraft to test an atomic bomb - Operation Grapple being the test in question.

 

Of course the 1965 film featured another "V" bomber, the B2 Vulcan - the Valiant having been retired the year before. As a Vulcan supporter, I've often wondered which of them was used for the scenes before take off.

 

Oddly enough I'm reading a book called "Valiant Boys" about the pilots, aircrew and ground crew who supported the RAF's first four jet bomber, and it is autographed, though the late Giuseppe Petacchi's signature isn't there, for some unaccountable reason! ;)



#4 Major Tallon

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:47 AM

I've got one of them for you, Guy Haines.  It's possible to spot the serial number on Derval's plane:  XA913.



#5 Guy Haines

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 10:49 PM

Hi Major,

 

I'm on to it! I have a book somewhere in the old pile which lists all the Vulcan serial numbers. Good grief, how sad is that! ;)



#6 Guy Haines

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:04 PM

Hi again Major Tallon,

 

And sooner than you think. According to my source - "Vulcan Units Of The Cold War" by Andrew Brookes - two Vulcans figured. XA 913 for the ground scenes, and Vulcan B1A serial number XH506 based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire for the aerial shots. (Waddington - I've been to that air show so many times!)

 

So now we know, I think.



#7 Major Tallon

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:16 PM

Not sad at all, Guy Haines!  Another couple of data for my Bond trivia file. 

 

Parenthetically, the RAF Vulcans were always a big hit at the Chicago air shows, so I had several opportunities to see them in flight.  Tragically, one was lost in an accident in 1978.  Beautiful planes.



#8 Guy Haines

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 07:02 AM

Hi Major,

 

I think the Vulcan must be my all time favourite aircraft. I'm a member of the trust which keeps Vulcan XH558 flying (Although, sadly, the 2015 air-show season will be her final fling in the air.) and we have a static display Vulcan, XM594  at the Newark Air Museum where I volunteer at weekends. I've also seen Vulcans at various air-shows in the past - Waddington, Finningley, Duxford and so on.

 

A great aircraft - probably the only delta winged medium jet bomber in which could do a barrel roll! (Which Avro's test pilot Roly Falk did, without permission, in the 1950s!). Now wouldn't that have been something in TB?